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Learn the Dialogue, then Forget it; Allow the Character to Create it. -KF- Ken Farmer
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Theory of Spectatorship
3 SISTERS: showcase
Dionysis -- Biomechanics
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA (907)474-7751
The creative process starts with the imaginative invention of a poet, a writer, the director of the play, the actor, the scene designer, and others in the production, so the first in order should be imagination.
If imagination plays such an important part in an actor's work, what can he do if he lacks it? He must develop it or else leave the stage. . . . It all depends on what kind of an imagination you have. . . . The kind that has initiative . . . will work . . . untiringly, whether you are awake or asleep. Then there is the kind that lacks initiative, but is easily aroused. . . . Observation of the nature of gifted people does disclose to us a way to control the emotion needed in a part. This way lies through the action of the imagination which to a far greater degree is subject to the effect of conscious will. We cannot directly act on our emotions, but we can prod our creative fantasy and [it] stirs up our emotion or affective memory, calling up from its secret depths, beyond the reach of consciousness, elements of already experienced emotions, and re-groups them to correspond with the images which arise in us. . . . That is why a creative fantasy is a fundamental, absolutely necessary gift for an actor.
There are various aspects of the life of the imagination. . . . We can use our inner eye to see all sorts of visual images, living creatures, human faces, their features, landscapes, the material world of objects, settings and so forth. With our inner ear we can hear all sorts of melodies, voices, intonations and so forth. We can feel things in imagination at the prompting of our sensation and emotion memory.
There are actors of things seen and actors of things heard. The first are gifted with an especially fine inner vision and the second with sensitive inner hearing. For the first type, to which I myself belong, the easiest way to create an imaginary life is with the help of visual images. For the second type it is the image of sound that helps.
We can cherish all these visual, audible, or other images; we can enjoy them passively . . . be the audience of our own dreams. Or we can take an active part in those dreams.
Every invention of the actor's imagination must be thoroughly worked out. . . . It must be able to answer all the questions (when, where, why, how) that he asks himself when he is driving his inventive faculties on to make a more and more definite picture of a make-believe existence.
[The actor] must feel the challenge physically as well as intellectually because the imagination . . . can reflexively affect our physical nature and make it act. . . . Not a step should be taken on the stage without the cooperation of your imagination. --An Actor Prepares
Acting is easy! All you have to do is to RE-ACT.
I am serious. Reaction to the text is subtext, react to your parner's actions, react to the changes, react to the audience....
The problem is the selection. What is important?
Well, you have to know where the ball is! You have to keep your eyes on the action, my friend. You have to be where the action is!
You have to know the target...
Very often I actors holding the ball without any clue what to do with it.
You throw it, the ball. Where? To the audience! This is your main partner. That's the ADDRESS of your line. Always. Do you speak to your partner on stage, to God, to yourself -- the ball goes first to the public. Only when they understood your line, swallowed it and ready for the next -- you get the ball back! Don't go for next step, see where they will throw the ball. Not where the ball is, but where it will be!
Move yourself there -- and catch it!
No, don't pass it right away! Now the public needs to know that you got THEIR lines! You need to do the same; take it in, duggest and then -- go!
I use this game in classes when we do the cold reading. It's away a TRIANGLE! Golden Triangle, I call it. I insist that the class is to insert reactions after every line, before your partner or you speak the next. Maybe they didn't understand, how can you go further? They do not know where the Ball (Action) is!
Biomechanics is all about Interacting!
Acting = ReActingReacting to those things in your mind! Your own thoughts, fears, hopes, emotions!
Timing? InterAct with Space and Time!THE "INVISIBLE" ACTING? What is that?Scenes in class (film acting): Mamet (list of plays).
"Never get caught acting." -- Lillian Gish
Wait! You are not ready. Because I am not, the spectator.
Actor lives in many spaces at once. He lives in my inner space. In my mind. Where else do you think acting takes place?
Intermediate acting is about this inner acting.
Inner space and time. Inner monologue. The words not spoken. For every word in monologue I ask for two, three, fore not being said. In actor's journals I ask to write the streams of conscience, the thoughts, related (association) images and feelings, memories. This nightmarish exercises in writing help to open the mental space in actor.
"Paper Acting" -- a preparation.
Do you want to know a secret of good acting?
Small things. Very small. They, the little things, separate a good actor from "acting." "Acting begins with a tiny inner movement so slight that it is almost completely invisible." The border line between visible and invisible is real acting. Making invisible visible, remember? It has to be "inner" -- we follow the process, the becoming. Never go for shortcuts; as with electricity, the energy produces nothing if it's not controlled, processed, transformed into other forms. You have to be ready to act, and -- I, your spectator, must be ready. Acting is a preparation to act, the rest is easy. If we both are ready, the acting come "naturally."
Meyerhold's formula: Actor = Artist + Medium
There two actors in each actor. One "directs" the other. The definition of artist:
"the art of the actor here stands between the plastic arts and poetry." Goethe.
In his "Rules for Actors" he writes: "In ordinary life, too, the actor must remember that he is to be part of a public presentation." Artist is always there, artist "acts" all the time. Observation, analysis, imagination -- the artist.
"Play actors? No, we are artists, noble artists, and it is you who are the play-actors." (Alexander Ostrovsky _Forest_)
"You" are the people who do not act, who "live." Or think that they do.
NOTES:  Meyerhold.
Pre-Acting is the real ACTING!
Read SPECTATOR directory, you will understand that you are the medium and the public is the real creator of the show. You execute their will, the drama in their hearts! You answer the questions they have on their minds....
Not only about the story and plot, but about LIFE. Their lives! What else do you think they are interested in? Why do you think they came to theatre? To know you, Hamlet? They came for their answers which they can't get anywhere else! Not from the books, not from the movies, not from the doctors and friends, family and even themselves!
I see, you do not believe that you know the answers. You think that is not possible to answer somebody who you never met....
This is what ART does, my friend.
You have to believe it. If you can't, you will never make it.
Above: Stanislavsky as Trigorin (Moscow Art Theatre, Seagull by Anton Chekhov). Chekhov loved him as an actor, not as a director.
Method2002: From Inside Out
Lesson #60 or 90 min
1. review (previous class)
3. new key terms & definitions
4. monologues & scenes
5. issues & topics
6. questions, discussion, analysis
7. in class work
9. improv & games
12. online, journals
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